Intentions : In this article, the author wants «to know the nature of the social representations of social workers about [eating] disorder and how they articulated these in their perception and understanding of this mental health problem.» (p. 2.10)
Échantillon/Matériau : The sample «consists of one man and seven women, all with social work training, including one technician and seven academics. Five of our participants were under 40 years old. All had been working directly with people with eating disorders for more than 12 months.» (p. 2.10) They work in psychiatric care in Quebec City and Montréal.
Instruments : Guide d’entretien semi-directif
Type de traitement des données : Analyse de contenu
«[R]esults revealed the sociological, psychological and biological complexity of eating disorders, as well as the impact of societal movements, the pressure exerted by social structures on the disorganization of human behaviour. For social workers, eating disorders are perceived as a symptom and/or a form of adaptation to an environment that, for some, proves to be hostile. From this perspective, the forms of intervention, where individuals and their self-determination left to their own devices, would no longer focus on symptom resolution, but rather on an awareness, in our opinion beneficial, of the relentless negotiation of individuals with their environment and the suffering that this environment can generate. It is by reinterpreting and objectifying one’s difficulties by the “symbolic work of producing meaning” […] that individuals regain a certain comfort, both inner and guided toward society and institutions.» (p. 2.18-2.19) Moreover, family «is identified [by participants] as a learning place where the individual learns to take care of themselves and to objectively self-assess oneself. However, this environment can also be a source of disarray and discomfort. [Indeed, in] some circumstances, excessive control over body appearance and diet is the only way to regain some control over one’s life. This impression of control calms the individual, who sometimes feels stuck by the injunctions of the family environment.» (p. 2.13)